The West Virginia Mountaineers will soon be announcing the hiring of Toledo Rockets running backs coach Marquel Blackwell, according to sources and as first reported by Mike Casazza of EerSports.com. Blackwell will fill the vacancy left by former running backs coach Tony Dews, who left West Virginia to coach the Tennessee Titans running backs under new head coach Mike Vrabel.
Blackwell worked under head coach Jason Candle and coached NFL Rookie of the Year runner-up Kareem Hunt in his time in Toledo. In 2017, Toledo running back Terry Swanson led the MAC with 104.8 rushing yards per game, and was second in the conference with 14 rushing touchdowns.
Blackwell played quarterback for the South Florida Bulls from 1999-2002, and held the record for career touchdown passes (67) until this past season when Quinton Flowers broke the record.
Marquel hails from St. Petersburg, Florida and has deep recruiting ties to the Tampa Bay area. After a brief stint with the New York Jets, Blackwell returned to the Tampa area and served as the head coach for Freedom High School, where he coached former West Virginia cornerback Eddie Davis. Blackwell moved to the college ranks in 2009, where he worked as an assistant at South Florida for three seasons. He returned to the Florida high school scene in 2014, when he served as the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator for Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg. Blackwell spent the 2015 season as a quality assistant with the Florida Gators before being hired by Toledo in 2016.